As we turn the page on 2019, we asked West Feliciana Parish Economic Development Director Jim Cavanaugh what he’s most excited about in the new year.
“We have a lot to look forward to,” says Jim. “Our parish has incredible assets to build on, new projects underway and elected officials who know the value of partnerships and cooperation. It’s going to be a productive and exciting 2020.”
Here are a few of the projects making headway in West Fel next year:
Mississippi Riverfront Gateway Development Project
Expanding the parish’s capacity to welcome more riverboats has been a top priority. Nearly $3 million in state capital outlay funds will spark the first phase of the Mississippi Riverfront Gateway Development Project in 2020, which will more than double the number of riverboats that can dock in St. Francisville and disembark tourists to visit local sites. “We’re looking closely at best practices from ports that have expanded up and down the river,” Jim says. “There’s a lot of careful engineering that needs to take place as we create inviting conditions for our riverboat partners.” The long-term master plan for the riverfront also includes adding an amphitheater, more port expansion, and better public access for recreational boating.
West Feliciana Industrial Park
In 2020, new investment is anticipated for the West Feliciana Industrial Park, a 1,300-acre parcel located at the end of Highway 964. To increase the site’s appeal to industrial site selectors, the parish will clear and sell timber from 110 acres of parish-owned land, using the revenue to reinvest in site preparation. “We know that having a cleared site with a poured slab will go a long way in attracting new investment,” says Jim. The site is zoned for heavy industrial use and is located near the existing paper products facility, Hood Container Corporation, making a great fit for a wood products manufacturer, Jim adds.
The Louisiana Legislature will likely continue to refine the Industrial Tax Exemption Program in 2020, says Jim. “We hope to see improvements that remove uncertainty for our business and industry partners,” says Jim. “We want to make sure they invest in their sites in Louisiana, not elsewhere. We want to keep their dollars here.”
Louisiana Development Ready Community
West Feliciana Parish is the only parish in the state to have earned the “Louisiana Development Ready Community” designation by Louisiana Economic Development (LED). The designation shows that a community has attained a certain level of preparedness and that it is well-positioned to compete for new projects. “This is an achievement that shows our commitment to build on our strengths and improve our weaknesses,” says Jim. “We have strong assets and the right attitude when it comes to getting things done.”
There’s more to come….
“Look for more exciting news in 2020,” says Jim. “There’s reason to believe we will continue to see significant reinvestment and job creation next year. It’s a good time to live, work and invest in West Feliciana Parish.”
For more information on personal or business investment services, call Bank of St. Francisville at (225) 635-6397 or click here to make an appointment.